Joseph Read was born in Southampton, Hampshire on 5 July 1891 1. He was the son of John Thomas Joseph Read (b. 1843-1919) and Jane Hutchings (b. 1851), who were married in 1868 in Weymouth, Dorset. His father and mother were from Gloucestershire and Dorset respectively.
Joseph was one of 11 children born to his parents, only 8 of whom lived past infancy. His surviving siblings were: Richard, John Thomas, Sarah Ann, Jane, Elizabeth, Frances Maria, Amelia and William.
At the time of the 1901 census Joseph and his family are living at 2 Castle Buildings, Southampton, Hampshire. His father was described as a dock labourer. By the time of the 1911 census they have relocated to 2 Nelsons Place, Southampton. At that time just Joseph and his brother William are listed with their parents.
When he signed on to the Titanic on 6 April 1912, he gave his address as 3 Nelsons Place, Southampton. As a trimmer he received £5 10s per month. His last ship had been the Oceanic.
Joseph Read died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was not identified.
- Family give his birthdate as July 5, 1892. He gave his own age in 1912 as 21 indicating a 1891/1890 birthdate. On the 1901 census he was listed as a 12-year old, indicating a 1889 birth-date. On the 1911 census his age was given as 20, indicating a 1891 birthdate. He is not present with his family on the 1891 census. His birth appears to have been registered in the third quarter of 1891.